Rappler Newscast | June 21, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will resume peace talks in July.
- The Philippines destroys 420-million pesos worth of ivory tusks in a symbolic act against the illegal ivory trade.
- President Aquino threatens to withdraw Filipino troops from the Golan Heights unless they’re protected against chemical arms.
Story 1: GOV'T, MILF TO RESUME TALKS 'EARLY JULY'
After a stalemate on the peace talks, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front agree to return to the negotiating table in July.
In a statement Friday, government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer says the panel chairs agreed on a date early next month to further discuss annexes on wealth-sharing, power-sharing, and normalization.
Ferrer makes the announcement after an informal meeting with MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal in the recently-concluded Mediator's Forum in Oslo, Norway.
Eight months after the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, talks reached a deadlock because of disagreements on wealth and power sharing.
The peace panels completed only one out of 4 annexes needed for the final peace pact -- the annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities.
Both sides want to finish the transition towards the new Bangsamoro region before President Benigno Aquino ends his term in 2016.
Story 2: P420-M WORTH OF IVORY TUSKS CRUSHED IN SYMBOLIC ACT
The Philippines becomes the first Asian country to destroy its stockpile of valuable tusks after it crushed over 5 tons of smuggled ivory tusks worth 420 million pesos in a symbolic act Friday.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje says, “This act is a strong statement to the rest of the world that the Philippines is serious and will not tolerate illegal wildlife trade.”
He adds, “This smuggled ivory represents hundreds of slaughtered elephants killed by poachers. The Philippines will not be a party to this massacre.”
The Elephant Trade Information System identifies the Philippines as a major transit point for ivory en route to China, where demand is high.
The 5 tons come from an original stockpile of 13.1 tons confiscated after being smuggled from Africa in 2005 and 2009.
Some 8 tons are reportedly still missing.
Environmental group Worldwide Fund for Nature commends the decision to destroy the tusks.
Story 3: AQUINO: GOLAN TROOPS NEED DEFENSE VS CHEMICAL ARMS
President Aquino threatens to withdraw Philippine troops from the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights unless they receive anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and are protected against chemical arms.
On Wednesday, Manila pledges to keep its troops until at least August 3rd, but adds their continued presence will depend on the UN beefing up security.
If the Philippines’ requests are not granted, Aquino says, “I will not risk keeping our troops there without the resources required to carry out their mission."
British ambassador to the United Nations Mark Lyall Grant says the UN will get "some heavier weapons," extra body armor, and see observation posts reinforced.
The Philippines warned it was considering pulling out its 341 soldiers after Syrian rebels kidnapped 25 of them in two separate incidents this year.
Story 4: SINGAPORE SMOG TOPS 400-LEVEL, DANGEROUS TO ILL AND ELDERLY
Singapore's smog index hits the critical 400 level Friday, making it dangerous to the ill and the elderly.
The record level is reached after a rapid rise in the Pollutant Standards Index or PSI, which measures the haze crisis caused by Indonesian forest fires.
Indonesian and Singaporean officials hold emergency talks on how to extinguish the fires on farms on Sumatra island.
According to Singapore government guidelines, sustained PSI average levels above 400 on a 24-hour basis
"may be life-threatening to ill and elderly persons".
Story 5: INDONESIA FIREFIGHTERS 'OVERWHELMED' BY SUMATRA BLAZES
An Indonesian official says the firefighters battling blazes on Sumatra are "overwhelmed" and unable to cope.
Ahmad Saerozi, head of the natural resources conservation agency in Riau province says firefighters have been working 24 hours a day, for two weeks.
On Friday, Indonesia deployed two helicopters with cloud-seeding equipment to prompt rainfall.
Story 6: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, Some 80,000 Brazilians take to the streets on Thursday in mass protests.
They demand better public services, criticize huge spending for the World Cup, and rail against corruption.
Demonstrators score a major victory when authorities in Sao Paulo and Rio canceled transit fare hikes, but that wasn’t enough to stop the two-week old protests.
At number 9, A Chinese astronaut orbiting over 300 kilometers above the Earth's surface delivers a video class to more than 60 million children across the country.
Wearing a blue space suit, Wang Yaping, the second Chinese woman in space, demonstrates how a variety of objects – from a bubble of water to a spinning toy – behave in zero gravity.
Wang's class – delivered from China's orbiting space module Tiangong-1 – is shown in classrooms across China using a live video link.
And at number 10, Facebook releases two new features on its products to better compete with other social networks.
Facebook rolls out photo commenting on Facebook posts, allowing users to reply by directly adding photos.
The Facebook-owned Instagram also gets an upgrade, with the service now allowing for videos to be uploaded on Instagram accounts.
Unlike the 6-second video limit on Vine, its closest competitor,
Video on Instagram allows up to 15 seconds in a single upload.
Story 7: MIAMI HEAT REPEAT AS NBA CHAMPS
The Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs, 95-88, in Game 7 to defend their title and win the 2013 NBA championship.
LeBron James delivers another stellar performance.
He tallies 37 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 three-pointers.
James is also named Finals MVP.
The award puts him in elite company as he joins Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Michael Jordan as the only 3 players in NBA history to have 4 Season MVPs, two NBA titles and two Finals MVP awards.
Dwyane Wade adds 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Shane Battier steps up, knocking down 6 three-pointers for 18 points to help the Heat endure a 0-point outing from Chris Bosh.
Spurs star Tim Duncan and second-year forward Kawhi Leonard carried the fight for San Antonio combining for 43 points and 28 rebounds.
Game 5 best-player Manu Ginobili scores 18 points but committed a costly turnover late in the game.
Story 8: #PUGADBABOY HANGOUT: Q AND A WITH POL MEDINA JR.
Rappler’s social media team hosts a Google hangout with the creator of hashtag-PugadBaboy, Pol Medina Jr.
Rappler's online community and local comic book artists join Medina as he talks about his big leap to the online world.
With an expanding audience online in the Philippines and beyond, Medina says the Internet is the way to go.
POL MEDINA JR., #PUGADBABOY CREATOR: Lahat ng tao nag-oonline na eh. Makakita ka ng pulubi na naka-ipon ng 10 piso, pupunta sa internet cafe yun tapos mag-Fafacebook. Mga street sweepers, makakita ka ng may hawak ng iPhone... yung version na gawa sa China. Online rin sila. Lahat ng tao, online na. (Everyone’s online now. You’ll see someone poor who’s been able to save 10 pesos, he’ll go to an internet cafe and log on to Facebook. You’ll see street sweepers using IPhones, the versions made in China. Everyone’s online.)
#PugadBaboy on Rappler lets readers interact with the comic strip -- by allowing them to choose which of 3 punchlines they like best.
Medina says the experience is liberating.
POL MEDINA JR., #PUGADBABOY CREATOR: Parang gusto ko nga i-encourage na mag-contribute yung mga readers ng... sariling nilang punchline eh. Minsan pag tinignan mo yung comments, mas nakakatawa pa yung comments nila kaysa dun sa comics ko. (I feel like encouraging readers to contribute their own punchlines. Sometimes I look at the comments and they’re funnier than my comics.)
Medina says he’s apologetic over the controversial comic strip that led to his suspension from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pugad Baboy’s home for 25 years.
The strip made a joke about gay women and named a well-known all-girls school, drawing public ire.
But Medina says his work only speaks the truth.
POL MEDINA JR., #PUGADBABOY CREATOR: Lahat naman ng comedy based sa truth eh. Nabasa ko lang na may smoke storm sa Singapore... di ko maisulat tungkol dun kasi di ko na-experience. May tinatawag kasi na immersion... Kailangan ma-experience mo talaga. (All comedy is based on truth. I read there was a smoke storm in Singapore. I can’t write about it because I didn’t experience it. There’s this thing called immersion. You really have to experience it.)
Medina continues to push the envelope on #PugadBaboy .
He says his experience made him braver.
POL MEDINA JR., #PUGADBABOY CREATOR: Eto na talaga yung style nung humor mo eh. Bakit mo papalitan para lang... dahil lang sa isang incidente na ganoon nangyari? (This is my style of humor. Why will I change it just because of one incident?)
What's next for Polgas, Mang Dagul, and the rest of the Pugad Baboy crew? Find out by visiting Rappler.com/pugadbaboy.
A new edition comes out at 5 in the morning from Monday to Saturday.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|